American-Hungarian Golden Globe Race skipper Istvan Kopar has now rounded Cape Horn, and is currently in fourth place

It was a fantastic start to 2019 for the Golden Globe Race entrant Istvan Kopar as he finally rounded Cape Horn in his Tradewind 35 cutter, Puffin.

The 65-year-old skipper sailed past the iconic landmark at approximately 1900 UTC on 1 January 2019.

He had tried to make it to the Cape before the start of the new year but was slowed by head winds.

Kopar has previously solo circumnavigated the world in 1990-1991 in a 31ft boat he built himself. The US Coast Guard-licenced captain made just one stop and completed the voyage without the aid of GPS.

Istvan Kopar waving aboard his yacht during the Golden Globe Race

Istvan Kopar has previously circumnavigated without using GPS. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

He relied on a sextant, manual chart plotting, and weather forecasts broadcast in Morse code.

Kopar has battled several Southern Ocean storms during the Golden Globe Race to reach the Horn, and was given permission to enter the race’s no go zone in mid December to avoid the worst of the heavy weather.

Continues below…

He is currently in fourth place, and will now be looking to close the gap between Puffin and Uku Randmaa’s Rustler 36, One and All. There is around 600 miles between the two.

Randmaa rounded Cape Horn on 19 December 2018.

French sailor Jean Luc Van Den Heede leans on a blue sail

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is expected to finish the race on 22 January 2019 . CREDIT: Christophe Favreau/Matmut/PPL

Current race leader, French skipper Jean-Luc Van Den Heede past Cape Horn on 23 November 2018, followed by second placed Mark Slats eight days later.

Van Den Heede is predicted to finish the race on 22 January 2019, according to the Golden Globe Race website, with Slats crossing the finish line at Les Sables d’Olonne on 29 Janaury 2019.

Fifth placed Tapio Lehtinen has yet to round Cape Horn.

Latest positions at 15:00 UTC 02 January 2019

1 Jean- Luc VDH (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut
2 Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
3 Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
4 Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
5 Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria

Chichester Class

Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda


Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna
Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007
Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland
Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
Mark Sinclair (AUS) Lello 34 Coconut